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this week, cheyenne zedaid decides to kiss and tell, revealing his company's finances for the very first time. adam goldstein creates his successful company just weeks after graduating college and a former apple marketing adviser now wants to work for you. all that and ben par makes a spectacle of himself. a reporter's -- from cnet and john schwartz of "usa today" this week. good morning, everyone. the company is hiring 14 good paying jobs are open according to the website. one of several up and coming san francisco start-ups, which would
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not be here if it weren't for immigrant founders. in this case, founders willing to walk part of the journey to america. cheyenne walked across the border of iran and turkey and straight to a u.s. embassy to get a visa. he and a classmate from tehran ended up in america where they started of all thing, an online datinging service with that peculiar name, zoosk. he figured in america, two os in a company name were a sign of success. just like at yahoo! and google. these days, he's dealing with lots of os, zeros that ul find on a balance sheet. thanks for being with us this morning, joined by john and ben,
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who i should make it a sign is wearing google glass, the first time reporter to wear google glass on this show. you'll talk about it, right? >> absolutely. >> back to the guest desk. the financials you've not talked about before on, to anyone, not reporters, much less three of them. you're willing to do that today. how is zoosk doing financially? >> very well. first quarter of this year, we had a record breaking quarter and our revenue was over $40 million. the company is just five years old, to achieve that and also very excited about the prospects moving forward. >> what does that do for you? as far as does that give you more power in marketplace? why show that? >> i think for us, it's a validation of our market what consumers are interested in by their wallets.
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>> i would think that would be one area you wouldn't want to get into. what are your thoughts? >> it's a very competitive space, when we got into, push r for the product, think about it, you're the first company -- >> on, you said i'm this tall and have a college degree and what not. >> in, for example, every time you go there, you basically need to say this is what i'm looking for today. you don't have any concept of what your taste is, what you're looking for and how that evolves. this engine looks -- what do you do with it? >> was everything. as well. >> you reject the ones you talk
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about the ones that talk back is very important. our product in the marketplace it's two way. the other person cannot be interested in you even if you're interested in them. we take all this into consideration and give a personalized experience. >> are they on facebook, the site, on mobile? what's the trend? >> mobile has been fascinating for us. over the last year, our mobile traffic has grown over 200%. we are the number one dating app on the i-tunes store and we have been there for six months now. >> is this where you make most of your money because a lot of companies have trouble making money from mobile. >> mobile users for us are more engaged. today, over 30% of our transactions happen on mobile devices. zblt what kind of transactions? >> so, for instance, we offer subscription model. you can use for all of our services. >> hold on.
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da dating services -- you need to specify. ordering up a menu, right? >> are things like boost, which is ad words for people. you highlight your profile to more eligible singles. you can send virtual gifts. sy there's one girl you're very, very interested in and -- you can send your message with special delivery. post office and a beautiful package coming versus the mail, this is the same concept. >> spending money on girls is a good idea. >> go ahead. >> i was going to ask you about leaving iran, escaping there, basically. can you describe how you did that and you -- >> this was in the middle of the country. this was not in duress. the way it ended up being on us on foot crossing the be wanted to come to u.s. for
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graduate school and there's no embassy in iran so, we had to go get a visa in a foreign country. at the time, turkey was the most reasonable one being a neighbor. right around the time we had to go and get our visa, the tensions rose between iran and turkey, so there was no air travel. literally, you had to go to the border, cross on foot. basically find a cab or a truck or something from there to the border. >> so when you were crossing the border, is this a mile or two or something that's taking -- >> literally have to cross the border on foot. >> you think the canada border, how you cross the inspection. well, there are many guns around. >> we have about a minute left. so, you come to america, you go to school, you start your first company and can't get a visa to be in our own company. is that fairly a fairly accurate assessment? >> the first company we attempted was when we were
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graduate students back in maryland. >> didn't have a visa to do that. >> no green card -- >> you've got to shut down your company because you haven't got the visa to hire other people. >> they're on the billboard that says you can get a move from canada for entrepreneurs. >> canada's taking some who can't find jobs, they live in canada and see what happens, which is really -- >> well, the state of the immigration today. thank you for sharing first time, the finances never been shared with us, we appreciate your being here. >> thanks for being here. up next, adam goldstein from the amazingly useful travel app and later, driving under the influence of google glass. back in a minute.
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welcome back. sometim sometimes, the sim lest of improvements can make all the
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difference. in the case of the online travel booking service hit monk, an easy to read display which shows you when the flights leave, how long they take and how much they cost round trip all at one quick glance. sorting each flight by what the company calls ago any with the easiest flights first. with the travel season right in front of us, we have the creator, adam goldstein, to join us. he launched it a week after graduating from m.i.t. and your partner came from reddit. i'm surprised anyone would get into the online travel business. you're sittinging there thinking expedia and all the other big companies. why play in that pot? >> well, it came out of my own personal frustrations when i was a student. i was the captain of debate team and one of the things that i had to do was book all the travel for the team and i found myself literally spending hours of time searching all those sites you mentioned and still wasn't
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finding what i knew had to be the best option. >> which is the visualness of it? >> for one thing, those other sites don't show you all the options. you get flights and hotels, sure, but they don't show you trains, air b and b and other vacation rentals, so i had to search ten different sites to get all that. the second thing is is they just showed me 50 pages of lists of results, so it was hard to understand the trade offs between different options. >> i'm going to take a quick aside and when you say you were on the debate, the captain. i read your biography somewhere, you're the best debater in the world. yes, you are. you are like the grand champion debater. the grand master chess of debating, right? >> be on this side of the table. >> we are debating this right now and you're going to win. >> my partner and i did pretty well in north america. >> i withdraw my, it's only in north america. then forget it. >> as much i love flying on virgin, i hate going to their
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website. i almost refuse to try to make reservations there. that's one of the reasons i used your sight. design wise, i actually have an idea of the overlap. this is not a show -- i love hitmonk, too. a lot of your customers have that same experience? >> i think so. a lot of the airline's websites, they don't even control themselves. they just outsource to a third party and it makes it hard for consumers to find the best option. we have been told we have been options the airline sites don't have themselves. >> what stops expedia from laying everything out in bar graphs, we'll just take it? >> two things. one, their users would not know what happened. a lot of the users of those other sites have been using the same experience for ten years and that's what they like using. hit monk, we've got a much younger demographic.
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people who are maybe booking travel for the first time, they're more opened minded about it. that's one thing. when we incorporate all these other options, sometimes, they're lower. often vacation rentals are cheaper than hotels. the big travel sites are worried about cutting into their own margins. >> so, what's next on the road map? >> we've been doing a lot of stuff on our mobile a p pp and tablet app and especially with hotels. when we first launched, we just had flights. now, we've got a fantastic hotel experience and for the first time, we're showing you the option to book on many different sites or directly on hit monk. on the a p pp while in new york, you can pop it open, find a hotel near your meetings or located in an interesting area, click book and be done with it. >> that's a new development. this idea that booking through hit monk, especially early on, you got sent away to something
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else and had to hope the user was going to stick with the booking so that you could charge on the other end. >> can i ask a non sequestion? >> we wouldn't find out the topics until 15 minutes before the round. >> what would be the most bizarre thing you were told to debate about when you had 15 minutes and still came out? >> i remember this one. this was the world championships. the topic was whether the u.s. should support the independent ens of abcabzia. >> you know who could answer that? it's ben. hey, google, where is -- >> we learned later it's sort of a territory, was part of the soviet kind of block and now, it's kind of contentious who really controls it, but my partner and i had no idea. no idea whether it was -- wanted or not or anything like that. we had to wait until the first
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team talked to figure out which side we were on. >> and should we? just as a general -- >> i don't even remember. >> i also like how you spent the entire first part of this segment denying you were one of the greatest debaters of all time. well, this one time at the world championship, which makes you one of the best debaters of all time. >> the actual logo, tell me the story behind that because i love ta logo. >> we love the logo, too. the idea came before the name. we had struggled hard to find a website that was actually available because all the good travel name, even most of the bad ones were already taken. so after struggling for a week, i explained the problem to my girlfriend. she said, look, if you can come up with a small animal name, you could get a really cute logo that would be really memorable. i thought, that's an idea. so, i started hunting for small animal names and started misspelling them.
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hitmonk was available, took that. >> it's amazing what having a mascot, you really do sort of underestimate what a mascot will do. >> goofy android walking around. >> taking photos, they feel like they know the company. >> when you make the search, the hitmonk sort of dances. was that originally a design -- you knew that was something you wanted. >> i don't remember the dance from day one, but we always had that in mind. it's perfect because it matches up what we stand for as a company. we think travel is agonizing. we don't searching for travel should be easy and fast and fun. >> and somehow, watching a little dancing chipmunk is more relaxing than watching loading or -- >> you've actually completed a deal because it's -- >> all right, thank you for being with us. up next, brand advice from one of apple's early advisers.
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welcome back. recently, an article in the boston globe quoted a high-tech recruiter who said if you're not on linkedin, you're not going to get the job. the reason, probably pure lazyness. there are so many people to be found on linkedn, there would be no reason for them to look elsewhere. how to reinvent your brand on linkedin. karen is a former partner at one of the most famous agencies, marketing agencies in the world, regis mcken na, which advised apple. you did not advise apple directly, but you certainly learned a great deal from them. link linkedin, i was surprised to hear that, but it makes complete
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sense. if i've got a thousand on linkedin, why would i look anywhere else? >> it's true. it's amazing how many people just totally blow it on linkedin, where you look at the headline and they have so and so of this little company you've never heard of. they have nothing else in their headline. >> somebody said hey, you should be on linkedin, they spent five minutes. >> or they have a picture of themselves looking half drunk from a party. that doesn't necessarily -- >> what should i put in this? which kind of picture? >> put a photo of yourself wearing glasses. that will get attention. >> so, yeah, you can brand yourself with your photo. don't get too cutesy about it. but you can also brand yourself in that headline, so you can have your name and your title and company, but then you know, maybe put three other things. >> you're saying a brand beyond scott mcgrew, reporter, nbc or something. that it's you know, journalist
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following, i mean, there's some sort of description to it and that actually keys off search engines. if recruiters are looking for certain people, if i'm very basic, i may not show up in that search engine. >> absolutely. it's amazing. people have no idea what keywords to put. do some research. sfwl what are some ke words that you put in to grab people's attention? >> for me? >> if you were a reporter, what would you do? not that i'm looking for a job. i'm overworked any way. >> you're a rotter and you have a certain beat. maybe a technology, maybe it's business. eastern european countries. maybe -- maybe you think you're a specialist at story telling or human interests or whatever it is. you know, maybe you just say content development. >> like story telling's one of them for reporters that's kind of coveted. >> i assume you do an
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endorsement for somebody, they'll do it for you. i have a website, she said listen, it sounds silly to have a vanity website. the reason though is you're controlling the google search. if somebody says something awful about you that's not true, you can post and google will trust your site and put you higher. i felt a bit sheepish when i first started it because i don't need by own -- i don't feel like i'm my own brand. >> i need it every day. >> well, scott, you are your own brand. everyone is their own brand and you can't shy away from it because it's actually denying the world the opportunity to engage with you. so, if you think you have special talents or unique value to the world, you have to be out there. you have to be found. >> i have two questions for you. my first one is the name of the book, "branding pays." i have a punch of followers.
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how do i monotize them, make money off them? >> it's not necessarily just monotizing your name and your brand, but hopefully, if you brand yourself correctly, you'll be able to achieve your goals. whether they're career goals, whether it's getting funding for your company, getting a new position in your company, it's all of those things and then if you do find something you really love to do, you can brand yourself around it and have an opportunity to do that and make money at it. you'll have a better life. so these are all the rewards that come fromñi branding. >> so, my quick second question, how do i convince people to do this if they're not like plugged into tech like we are, like my sr. and friends from illinois? >> first of all, i mean, this personal branding that's offline and online, hopefully, the two will be work well together. and that you're authentic, you know, in person and you know, on
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the internet. but for people who aren't on the internet, they can still brand themselves. i talk about branding from the inside out. you can have core values, things that you believe in. maybe they volunteer, you know, in certain organizations. people know them. they have a reputation and image. whether they're online or not, but certainly, it helps you to be online in this day and age because it's like you don't exist if you're not online. >> it used to be you started working for ibm after you graduate college and retired with a gold watch. you were at i brbm. an ibm man. now, as post people move from place to place, you are a talented cfo who just happens to be working at yelp or a reporter who just happens to be working at cnet, but ben par is a branded side of cnet. >> absolutely and that's what a lot of entrepreneurs side us, putting all their eggs in one basket, which is their company and as you know, a of times,
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entrepreneurs and their companies are separated at a certain point when professional management is brought in, so you can't just been known for that. i think that entrepreneurs especially should brand themselves first. >> if you're an entrepreneur and brand yourself, it's tougher for them to kick you out. you become more important. >> who is somebody who brands themselves well? who's a good brand? >> i love tony shay and what i love about him is that he wrote a book called delivering happiness and by the way, write ago book is a great way to personally brand yourself. but it also is the tag line for sappos and it has become not only a company culture, but also you know, his personal brand and what he believes in both for corporate life and -- >> with delivery.
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he embodies the culture of that company, which is that key phrase. >> and even outside of sappos, he bought a bunch of real estate in downtown las vegas. >> karen, you're book is branding pays. thank you for being with us. we'll be back in just a minute.
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welcome back. a remarkable first. ben par is the first reporter to wear google glass on the tv show and i had gotten used to it. it's not as distracting as i thought it would be, but are you enjoying that? >> i think it's actually quite useful. it's still really early, so not a ton you can do yet. you can do photos, videos, google searches by just tap ipi the side. you can see like your phone calls and texts and even your path updates, but developers are
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building more apps, so i think it will get more useful. >> you almost can't walk through a room without people stop youg and asking you about it and you were very gracious. i think you let six people try it on, but that's going to be much of what, if you're early google glass user, you can experience people coming up saying, oh, wow. >> i think a lot of early google glass users kind of like the attention for that, but when they sell to consumers, i suspect that fascination will dwinding, like everything else. >> does that obscure your vision at all? >> no, actually, we're looking straight up. if i had to look my eyes up to see the screen that's right here and it works quite well. i tried it driving, i wrote about it on cnet. it didn't really distract my driving at ul. i think it's much safer than having a phone out and looking down. >> that's illegal in california. >> just because it's illegal doesn't mean people don't do it. >> i have a screen on the, in
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the middle of the dash and even when i'm dialing the phone on the screen on the dash, i feel like that's a bis distracting. this doing it heads up might make more sense. >> you can take your lenses off, too, right? >> yeah, they also come with a version for sunglasses, so you can switch them in and out. >> sometimes, it looks like you're scratching your head. it's pretty effortless though, right? it doesn't take a long time to become accustomed to this? >> you can also do voice command. you tilt your head up. the screen appears and you can say, okay, glass. >> how old is barack obama? >> okay, glass, take a picture. and now, i have a picture of you right there on the screen. >> all right. we'll post it to the website. thank you very much. you're going to go off and work on a book. we look forward to you coming back and telling us about it. >> that's our show this week. a programming note. we will take next week off so
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nbc can bring you the french open and then we'll be back to a regular schedule after that. thank you for making us a part of your sunday morning.
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hello and welcome. today, a new documentary is in the works titled "a song for ces cesar." the producer is here in the studio. ♪ we begin today with project hired. wounded warrior project, with me here are glenn ford and jeremiah is an army veteran and they brought with them rocky. welcome to the show. >> thank you. >> sir sh tell me first about rocky, why he's here and what he does for you. >> well, rocky

Press Here
NBC May 19, 2013 9:00am-9:31am PDT

News/Business. (2013) Zoosk and Hipmunk explain their odd names; the power of personal branding.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 12, Linkedin 5, Iran 4, Google 4, America 4, U.s. 3, Adam Goldstein 3, Canada 3, 2, Ben 2, Turkey 2, North America 2, Cheyenne Zedaid 1, Jeremiah 1, Expedia 1, Cheyenne 1, Lazyness 1, Scott 1, Tony Shay 1, John 1
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on 5/19/2013